Because August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, we here at Griswold Home Care of Wheat Ridge, your local in-home assistance provider, wanted to take some time to explore this serious skin condition and share some basic information about it.
Of the many ailments that come with age, psoriasis is one of the most uncomfortable, and one that many people find embarrassing. The symptoms of psoriasis tend to worsen over time, and although not contagious, it can turn into a chronic condition. As there’s no known cure, it’s something that many seniors have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
What Is Psoriasis?
Normally, skin cells regenerate themselves every few weeks. For those who suffer from psoriasis, this process occurs at a much faster rate, producing thick, rough, scaly patches of skin on the nails, scalp, joints, elbows, knees and lower back. While doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes it, they’re fairly certain that the immune system and genes play a role. Psoriasis occurs when the body’s T-cells start attacking skin cells, causing them to reproduce in a matter of days instead of weeks.
Factors That Can Trigger Psoriasis
Although psoriasis can run in families, some people that have the genes which increase the risk of psoriasis never develop it, while others who do have psoriasis don’t have the genes that increase this chance. Scientists believe this can be explained in part by other non-genetic factors that can trigger the first appearance of the condition. These include the following:
- Burns & cuts
- Alcohol & tobacco use
- Cold, dry weather
- Medications such as lithium, prednisone & hydroxycloroquine
Plaque Psoriasis: The Most Common Type of Psoriasis
Although there are eight different types of psoriasis, each with their own symptoms, plaque psoriasis accounts for 80-90% of diagnosed cases. Its symptoms include:
- Thick, raised patches of skin called plaques.
- Plaques of various sizes, with smaller patches connecting to form larger ones
- A thin, dry, silvery-white film known as scale that can form over some patches
If you think you may be suffering from psoriasis, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor, who will help you come up with a customized treatment plan that will help you find relief. Treatment methods generally include topical ointments, psoriasis medications and phototherapy/PUVA therapy.
How Can We Help?
The caregivers at Griswold Home Care of Wheat Ridge provide high-quality live-in elderly care, along with compassionate and caring support to seniors suffering from this and other age-related conditions. To find out more about our varied services, give us a call at (303) 622-5585.